balance of payments
- noun a comparison between total receipts and payments arising from a country’s international trade in goods, services and financial transactions.
- noun a statement of the international financial position of a country, showing transactions which have taken place over a certain period, usually one financial quarter. It includes invisible as well as visible trade; all trade and movements of money between the residents of a country and other countries worldwide, including export sales and import purchases which when added must produce a balance. A balance-of-payments deficit occurs when a country imports more than it exports and so pays out more in foreign currency than it earns; this is also called a trade deficit. A balance of payments surplus occurs when a country sells more to other countries than it buys from them.
- The difference between the value of all imports and the value of all exports for a country over a given period of time, including all financial imports and exports. A positive balance of payments means that more money is flowing into the country than is flowing out. A negative balance of payments means the opposite.
- noun the international financial position of a country, measured according to the level of imports and exports